Dawn Ackroyd, a Grade 3 teacher from Calgary, Alberta, managed to thaw out enough to participate in the Teacher Tuesday quiz. Thanks, Dawn! Let’s dive in.

Fill in the blank: You should never read and (blank) at the same time.

You should never read and vacuum at the same time. It seemed like a good idea at the time – after all, I’d go nice and slow and the carpet would get vacuumed quite well – or so I thought. Actually, what happens is you don’t notice things that you really don’t want vacuumed up. Vacuum belts burn up. Before you know it, you’re sitting in the vacuum repair shop waiting for your vacuum.

Actually, now that I think about it, that turned out quite well. Waiting time means reading time.

Never mind. Go ahead and vacuum! J

If you were invited to be on Oprah, what book would you bring for her to read?

I’d bring Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza. I read this book a few years ago and couldn’t put it down. I was a university student at the time of the Rwandan war and was vaguely aware of what was going on. Reading Immaculee’s story 20 or so years later, I was stunned and even embarrassed that I could have been living my life so unaware of the excruciating experience others were going through on the other side of the world. The story Immaculee tells doesn’t focus on the atrocities of the war, but rather her faith and spirituality and how that helped her survive the war and the aftermath. It is a story of miracles.

What is the funniest book you’ve read?

Because I teach elementary school, I read a lot of J fiction in search of good books for my students. This week I read The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett. I loved this book. How does Mac Barnett hit the nail exactly in the head every time?! I read his book, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole. I thought it was cute. I had no idea my students would be so taken by it. They laughed and slapped the ground and pointed and discussed and laughed some more as they listened to me read how Sam and Dave miss the treasure again and again. Mac Barnett really gets kid humor. I usually chuckle to myself when I read funny books. That’s as verbal as I get. This one made me snort and chuckle and snicker out loud again and again. I loved it!

The Terrible Two is about Miles Murphy. He is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley. It is a little town that is famous for one thing: cows. Cows? Yup. Cows. In his old school Miles was the best prankster. Now in his new school there is another guy who is even better at pranking. The new guy is Niles and he wants to team up with Miles. Miles doesn’t really want to team up. All through the book Niles tries to get Miles to pair up with him because after all, together they could be legendary!

I thought of so many kids I knew when I was reading this book. It reminded me of my prankstering cousin and my summers together. She was the nerdy one with the school helper sash. Not because she was a nerd…..but she was the queen of pranks. I just wanted to be 🙂

I also related to the lack of respect for cows. I remember when our dumb cows used to get out…always seemed to happen when our parents weren’t home. I have always thought cows were dumb. The cow commentaries in this book are hilarious.

I think everyone should read this book!

 What is the saddest?

Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak by Deborah Ellis. Deborah Ellis is one of my favorite authors. Many of her books are about children in difficult political and economic situations. Three Wishes tells story after story, one by a Palestinian child, the next by an Israeli child. The stories are strikingly similar. They are also strikingly sad. These children have grown up amongst generations of hatred for one another. They live close together and do not know each other. Their lives have been impacted deeply by the war. Some children have lived through multiple experiences of having their homes and schools bombed. They rebuild. And in some ways they continue to go on, and in other ways, they simply cannot recover. Some are left paralyzed, literally, with fear.

I have found all the books I have read by Deborah Ellis’ to be very impactful. She has a gift for telling difficult stories in a way that is appropriate to share in a classroom, but still touches on the important issues. She is a brilliant writer.

 Favorite reading snack/beverage?

Steamed milk with hazel nut syrup and sushi.

What’s next on your TBR list?

Last year my book club read Somewhere in France by Jennifer Robson. It takes place during World War I. We skyped with the author and had a wonderful discussion. I plan to re-read it and then read her next book, After the War, in preparation for our book club meeting on April 1. No joke!